Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Sex Offender Compliance Checks (Oink Oink! Pigs are here!)

Today, the Hamilton County OH Sheriff's office released the results of a four-day long compliance check of those being forced to register on the public registry. According to one of my local news stations, 72 of 1350 were found non-compliant.

The task force checked on 1,114 addresses of the 1,350 registered sex offenders in the county and here are the results:
     
       720 lived where they said they did;
         72 were out of compliance;
         50 warrants were signed;
         20 warrants are pending;
       237 notices were left on doors where offenders registered;
         19 are homeless;
         66 require additional investigation.

I have been free for just over a decade now, and while this is not my first compliance verification, this is the first time I have had to deal with the US Marshals. It was a very unnerving experience. Imagine you are just finishing fixing dinner and you hear a loud bang on the door. Not a nice little knock, but the kind of knock that sends wall hangings tumbling to the floor and give heart attacks to easily startled individuals. Then you open the door and see this sight:

Just like these pricks, only half as many
The two "officers" at my door never really bothered to identify themselves, but the first thing that came out of their mouths was "May I come in?" My response: "Hell no! No warrant, no entry." They then demanded I step outside. I said, "Hell No!" I made it crystal clear to them I did not appreciate them coming to my door in the manner in which they arrived. The US Marshal fed me a line of BS about how he can't verify my address by simply seeing me open my own door. The Marshal claimed I could have just been "visiting." I guess Ohioans make it a point to visit friends while wearing sleep clothes and house slippers. I signed their stupid form and the Marshal (the Mutt in this Mutt and Jeff duo) said he'll "be back next week." I told him he can come every day of the week and still not get in my house without a warrant.

But these cops were not done. As I stepped outside my apartment, I noticed the two thugs in blue sitting outside my apartment watching me. I took down their car tags and the stepped out and approached me. I'm still in my night clothes, but what the hey, they feel that is appropriate attire for a night on the town. I gave them a piece of my mind. (You can catch the latter part of our "discussion" by CLICKING HERE; it is on my old ReFORM Radio page if the other link doesn't work).

I stood my ground and upheld my rights. Am I hiding anything? No. However, you have the right to say NO to a cop. If a person is not on probation or parole, and the police do not have a search warrant, then they have no right to enter your home.


In this video of a compliance check in Wayne Co. OH, notice the police ask the man if they can enter his house and "see' his "bedroom" to verify his residence. They have no need to go inside to "verify" your residence. Did you notice they asked the man if they can come inside? That is because they don't have the authority to come inside UNLESS YOU GIVE THEM that authority. You have a constitutional right to refuse. You see, once they are inside, they can search your house. If you have a computer, they want to see it. Now they are looking for any way to lock you up. That is how people get arrested in "compliance checks."

I had already created a page on my main website about this issue. In addition, there is free software allowing you to encrypt your entire computer and surf the web anonymously, tested and approved by fellow activists.
Remember these important steps and follow them in any compliance check.


  • DO NOT sign anything, ever, at your door! No matter how "innocent" it seems. Politely refuse, unless you can speak to your lawyer first. (NOTE: If you do not have an attorney, be sure to read anything you sign if you feel compelled to do so. Standing up to a cop is scary, indeed, but they know you have to give up your rights willingly in order for them to proceed)
  • DO NOT answer any questions beyond confirming that you are you, and required registration info. Anything else could be used (or twisted) to incriminate you.
  • DO invoke the 5th amendment if necessary. But be prepared to be peppered with more questions (What are you hiding? Eh?), and reply only that you want your lawyer present first.
  • DO NOT let anyone into your home without a warrant, unless you are still "on paper" (i.e., probation/ parole) and it is required. "Uncle LEO" has no right whatsoever to enter a person's home without a warrant, UNLESS you give them permission to enter. Don't fall for the old "can we come inside to confirm you live there" trick. Once inside they are looking for any reason to lock you up. Depending on the state, having toys or other items they consider "paraphernalia" may subject you to arrest or investigation.
  • DO NOT leave your home while LE is still at your door. You have strong protections in your home, but practically none once you are out on the street.
  • If you have easy access to a camera (cell phone in pocket), take a picture of the group on your porch, or better yet record the whole thing. Many cell phones have a "record" feature for you to talk into. Turn it on and keep it aimed at everyone speaking. The last one is highly important, in my opinion. HOWEVER, it may It may be illegal depending on the circumstances and where you live. For more info on police recording laws for your individual state you can visit the following website: http://www.rcfp.org/taping/index.html
In regards to videotaping police, the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to review a federal appeals court decision finding it unconstitutional to enforce an Illinois state law that makes it a felony to videotape police officers working in public if a microphone is turned on. The case in the US Appeals Court decision is ACLU of Illinois v. Alvarez, 679 F. 3d 583. (7th Cir. 2012).

More general tips at my main website HERE.


22 comments:

  1. thank you for this post, Derek, since many offenders would just rather let the cops in to just get it over with or aren't aware of our rights.

    MA (so far) doesn't go to this extent, but rather just has a local officer go around to see if you live at the address listed. I don't understand why US Marshall's are involved, unless OH is a SORNA state?

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  2. The Adam Walsh Act only gave US Marshals jurisdiction in ASSISTING and APPREHENDING those who fail to register and flee across state lines.

    Compliance checks cannot be argued to be the same as a criminal investigation. A compliance check is a compliance check, not a criminal investigation. The police must have a reasonable suspicion a crime is being committed, otherwise they have no right to detain anyone. They will try to argue by not letting me in the door, they cannot prove I live at the residence. I opened the door in night clothes and slides at 6:30 pm, just as I was sitting down to eat dinner. Any reasonable person will see me at my door and conclude it is me. Anything further crosses the 4th Amendment.

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  3. Wonderful ... a really wonderful piece, Derek. If only we had the whole thing (the morons at the door) on tape and uploaded it to YouTube for all in this similar situation to learn from and to take heart from. You did GREAT! It's nice to know that some people can keep their wits and presence of mind about them in tight quarters.

    Whenever someone comes here to the door in Orange county, Ca. We generally are quite tight-lipped, uncooperative and hostile to whomever it is. A lot of staring at each other across the threshold in other words. We refuse entry, signing paper, or anything beyond a simple "yes" or "no". Cops are slimy, cowardly snakes, and lying comes to them as easily as it does as a Muslim talking to a mere "infidel". Thanks for 'standing tall' when the jackbooted, jackassed, U.S. Marshall Thug Corps shows up at a private residence with ZERO respect and ZERO manners. Screw them and the cowards who sent them out.

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  4. Good job and generally sound legal advice

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  5. Just had the Berks county sheriff officers wake up my landlord then come around to the back of the house to my apartment. Of course my landlord let them in he doesnt want problems. This is at 6:45 am. I think this is bullshit this is the first time i ever heard of such a thing here in Pa. Thank you for haveing this site and thread it helped me understand a little more. Ben

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  6. The landlord should not have let them in. Renting a property, even a hotel room, makes it "your" rightful area, at least as long as the rent is paid.

    In Stoner v. California, 376 U.S. 483 (1964), the High Court ruled that a hotel clerk could not give consent to the police to search a premises without a warrant. But these days, the courts use a standard called "reasonable expectation of privacy."

    A reasonable expectation of privacy exists if 1) you actually expect privacy, and 2) your expectation is one that society as a whole would think is legitimate. That's thanks to a decision made by SCOTUS just a few years later, Katz v. US (389 U.S. 347).

    When you rent a property, anyone reasonably expects to have privacy in their rented property.

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  7. Here is another page that breaks down the argument:

    https://ssd.eff.org/your-computer/govt/privacy

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  8. I have always wondered about this. I live in Washington state and i do have local officers come to my home every now and then and ask if i live here. I always say yes but am wondering if i even have to answer that question. I do not want them on my property unless there is a warrant or an emergency.

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  9. AS FAR AS I KNOW THERE IS NO LAW THAT SAYS YOU EVEN HAVE TO ANSWER THE DOOR WHEN THE PIGS COME KNOCKING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What are they going to do, break down your door without a warrant??? Don't even give them the time of day by even answering the door.

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  10. I need help. I live in Missouri.

    Today 2 LEO’a a county & us marshal came by to update my BF who is an SO info. We have lived here a year and a 1/2 and it is the first visit. He never misses his registration. His offense was over 20 years ago and was a misdemeanor.

    My question is did they have the right to ask for my name and birth date? (BF was not home I was stuck speaking to them all by myself.) I asked why they wanted/needed my info and was told they wanted to know who he "associates with" --their words..

    I asked if my info would be made public and they said it wont go no further than the sheriff dept.

    I was caught off guard when I opened the door. Was expecting a service tech. and thought it was him.

    I felt so intimidated and alone. Did not want to appear uncooperative. In fear of repercussions and all that jazz. But what about my rights??!!

    I have a clean record. I have never been arrested or charged with any crime. I am a law abiding citizen who believes in freedom and liberty.

    I felt like I was on the witness stand. If it was a compliance check on my BF then why the hell did they need/want my info??!!

    Did they have a (legal) right to request my info? Did I have a (legal) obligation to comply?

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  11. Did they have a (legal) right to request my info?

    A: They can ask, yes.

    Did I have a (legal) obligation to comply?

    A: No. However, no thanks to the Roberts Supreme Court, you have to verbally invoke your 5th Amendment rights. In other words, you have to tell them you are not going to answer their questions.

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  12. My son just got out of prison after 81/2 yrs. for drug trafficking. In 2004 he did 2 years for 2 bogus plea bargains for "abduction". He did not "abduct" anyone--long story. After he came out this time, they put him on the sex offender registry with "abduction-no sexual intent". Because they said that at the time, one of them was a minor. The Ohio Public Defender is working on it...to get his name removed. It is unconstitutional....but will take some time. They put him on probation for 5 years to boot. He served the full sentence and then slapped the 5 years on. Right now he is living at various places and doing odd jobs to make it. It breaks my heart. What is going to happen to him? I worry about ones that are non-compliant and they are arresting them and putting their pictures on the news. I hope he can sue the beejeepers off of someone when all of this is said and done. But for now I am afraid for him.

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  13. Getting an attorney is already one of the best things you can do. Sadly, it is not uncommon to see people accused of a "kidnapping/ abduction" case to land on the registry these days despite having no sexual motivation whatsoever. I don't want to worry you but I haven't seen these cases overturned in other states. However, the Ohio Supreme Court has been more levelheaded on this issue than most, so I think you have decent chance of getting this overturned.

    Feel free to contact me at 513-238-2873 if you have more questions or concerns.

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    1. Thank you for your reply. Yes, I have seen those cases in other states. It is truly ridiculous. I think they just want to ruin peoples' lives. It's a waiting game now....I guess we'll have to wait and see. The motion was just sent to the judge in our county and if he doesn't sign it, the case will go to the 3rd Appellate Court. I'm just sick about it.

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  14. Etowah Co. AL back off their compliance checks somewhat:

    http://www.gadsdentimes.com/article/20140113/news/140119934

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  15. I live in Kansas. I have been on the registry for 11 years now (well, 2 of those years I lived in Nebraska). I have gone through only 1 compliance check so far and I wasn't living there at the time (forgive my friend who told the LEOs Iwas. One hell of a friend.

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  16. I was so glad to find this information. My Husband was waiting for our children to get off the bus and a police officer rolled up to him and said he had a warrant for his arrest but he never said for what. i later found out that they said the warrant was for noncompliance. He registers every year like he should they come by and do their checks every so often he has done everything he is supposed to do. I can't even get information from the jail of what the charges are actually for. What should I do about this. This is sad and so out of line.

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    1. I just released the results from a survey of 200 registrants on the issue of compliance checks. See for yourself:

      http://www.oncefallen.com/policechecksurvey2016.html

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  17. I have befriended a sex offender. Have known him for over 15 years now and I stepped in to help him when I saw people trying to destroy him. (I'm always for the underdog and it rankled me to see this.) Now, he lives in my house and I moved out into my mom's house. This week, the sheriff's office informed him at his registry appointment that he had 3 days to get ME to come down there and swear an affidavit that he was not driving my car or they would write him up or something. Can they DO THIS??? He does not drive my car. I would not want my car and plates listed on a sex offender registry. I'm tired of the harassments and the far-reaching actions of the sheriff's office sex offender unit. I wrote two emails to them but they have not responded. Can they legally do this? He has two trucks, why would he need my car? Him saying "NO" should be enough!

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    1. I don't believe what they are asking for is necessary, but if he's on supervision, it may be a requirement.

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  18. I would like to know if they have a legal right to enter my private (land) property without a warrant, or probable cause. And are these compliance checks specifically mandated in the 290 statute, or is it something they take upon themselves to do.

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    1. If you're on paper/parole/probation/supervised release, etc., then you can't refuse a warrantless search.

      If you aren't on paper, then you have every right to refuse warrantless searches, though they'll try every dirty trick to try to convince you to give up your rights.

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